Mayor Eric Adams has put forth David Do, head of Washington D.C.’s Department of For-Hire Vehicles, as his nominee to head New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission.
The previous TLC commissioner, Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, was appointed by former Mayor Bill de Blasio and Adams affirmed her nomination when he took office. Heredia Jarmoszuk resigned in March, however, after being caught in a virtual meeting berating and swearing at her staff.
“After a financial crisis and a devastating pandemic, a strong taxi industry is a prerequisite to a just and equitable economic recovery for our city, and this administration is going to deliver that for New Yorkers,” Adams said in a statement announcing his pick.
A group that Do will have to work with, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, praised the decision, noting Do has a long career in civil service and is someone who won’t be afraid to regulate big companies such as Uber and Lyft.
“I met him yesterday and he was very engaging, someone you can have shop talk with on transit policy,” Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the Alliance, told Gothamist. “He also made it clear that he sees drivers as a priority. I think the key thing is, he wants to be in public service and is a transit policy person.”
Do steps into the job at a time when the number of people taking taxi rides is still down due to the pandemic. Only about half of the taxis with medallions are on the road picking up customers compared to pre-pandemic numbers. And the pandemic only exacerbated a financial crisis for drivers already saddled with heavy debt from medallion loans.
The new commissioner also arrives as the agency is looking to modernize the way people use taxis, with new apps and a possible increase in drivers wages.
Do must be confirmed by the City Council.